All the winners in The Hunts Post Sports Awards

NOT many people can say they have successfully completed 140 half marathons.

Nor will they have spent decades teaching children to swim, trained 26 hours a week to reach the top of their sport or have been part of a football team that managed to go through the entire season without a single booking.

These were just a few of the achievements that have been chalked up by the winners of the first Hunts Post Sports Awards.

The winners were announced at an evening ceremony at The Hunts Post Community Stadium - the home of St Neots Football Club - at Love’s Farm on Thursday (July 21).

The awards, which were sponsored by Coversure Insurance Services of Huntingdon, featured 10 categories, were keenly contested and were watched by almost 200 people keen to find out who had won.

The evening was introduced by Hunt Post Editor Andy Veale who said: “These awards are not just about the results on the field, they are about the people who make the sports clubs tick, the people who go the extra mile and the endeavours of the volunteers who freely give up their time to ensure there are teams and sports for us all to play.

“We want to celebrate the dedication of the people who have spent a lifetime helping out at our clubs. And at the other end of the spectrum, we also want to praise and encourage the young sports boys and girls who are the future of our teams.”

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He added: “It can be a challenge to prise people away from their X-Box and comfortable sofa, but what better way than by hearing the success stories of the people who live and work in our community.”

The event was hosted by Mark Peters who presents the breakfast show at Star Radio.

The awards:

School of the Year:

Winner: Hinchingbrooke School, Huntingdon

Hinchingbrooke was the first winner of the School of the Year after demonstrating to the judges that sport is as central to its curriculum as the classroom-based lessons.

And, of course, if should be becauseas Hinchingbrooke has specialist status as a sports academy.

However, the judges were impressed by enthusiasm for sport that is shown throughout the school –- an enthusiasm that encourages children who have previously shown little interest in physical fitness, to give sport a chance.

Hinchingbrooke was also praised for its facilities.

Team of the Year (Junior)

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Winner: Godmanchester Rovers U13A

Nominated: St Neots Town Youth Football Club U12, Huntingdon Rugby Club U14

It was a very successful year for the U13 players at Godmanchester Rovers - and it’s not just about the action on the field, although they proved quite apt at that having achieved the double - they won the U13 Hunts County Cup and the Cambs & District League A.

But the judges were also impressed by a few other aspects which the young players - and the management team - have achieved, including the fact that they managed to win the double without picking up a single booking all season.

The team is also committed to the FA Respect Campaign.

Outstanding Achievement (Under 18)

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Winner: Jack Gower

Nominated: Jade Bell (women’s football), George Furbank (rugby) and Jean-Luc Farr (golf)

YOUNG golfer Jack Gower picked up this award, another achievement in a very busy year for the member of St Ives and Ramsey golf clubs.

Not only has Jack been studying for his GCSEs, but at the same time he has been captaining the county’s U16 side and has also been involved in the Wales U16 squad, which means he has been played at both regional and national level.

His ambition - well it’s obvious: “To become a professional golfer and to play in the Ryder Cup,” he told the audience on Thursday.

Team of the Year (Senior)

Winner: St Neots Football Club first team

Nominated: Hampton Sports Football Club, St Ives Cricket Club

“It’s an all for one and one for all” attitude that has helped the success at St Neots Football Club.

The first team, which were winners of the Team of the Year (Senior) award, made club history last season by winning the UCL Premier Division and the Hunts Senior Cup.

The consistent performances throughout the season saw St Neots lead from the front - the team were top of the league for almost the entire season and were scoring for fun - striker Shane Tolley equalled a club record, scoring 54 goals (37 league, 17 cup) in 44 matches.

St Neots also held six national records during the season.

Outstanding Achievement (Over 18)

Winner: Nadine Law

Nominated: Des Thresh (motorsport), Jamie Caldwell (cycling)

Nadine Law has been winning lots of medals in tang soo do competitions around the country - and indeed the world.

The mother and wife from Over has won a series of championship competition (including a gold medal in Las Vegas) and went on to also win the grand championship in London.

Her success in this martial art has seen Nadine qualify for he world championships in Florida later this year.

Nadine thanked her husband, Mark, for her support and joked that his support allowed her to “be doing what she would like to be doing” rather than “what she should be doing”.

Lifetime Achievement

Winner: Alan Hannibal

Nominated: Allan Dalrhymple (Huntingdon FC and Rowdies), Deryck Irons (Eynesbury Rovers) and Christine Rickwood (Cambridgeshire Schools Badminton Association)

Runner Alan Hannibal is one of the dedicated athletes at the BRJ Road Running Club. In fact he was one of the founders and is the club captain.

And as such he tends to lead from the front and has a long list of running achievements under his belt - 25 Great North Runs, 20 marathons and a very impressive 140 half marathons.

And, as Alan told the audience on Thursday, he is “still running” after deciding years ago to do “one marathon to see what’s like”.

Outstanding Achievement (Athlete with a Disability)

Winner: Lauren Steadman

Nominated: Tom Smith (numerous sports - see panel), Mark Griffen (see panel)

Sawtry swimmer Lauren Steadman is not only good at her sport - she is also enthusiastic and persuasive at getting other people with disabilities to get involved with sport.

In the pool Lauren, who was born without her right hand and arm below the elbow, competed at the last Paralympics in Beijing

She started out swimming for Huntingdon Piranhas but has gone on to win a clutch of medals - including European and swimming world cup medals - and set a number of new records.

Lauren is currenly looking towards London 2012 Paralympics but has found time to also compete in paratriathon at the British Championships

- Tom Smith and Mark Griffen have both achieved in numerous sports and a worthy a mention in their own right.

Tom, who has achondroplasia (dwarfism), collected a range of medals - lots of them gold - at the Dwarf Sports Association’s national games. As well as gold medals in football, cycling and curling, Tom won silver in frisbee throwing and bronze medals in hockey and basketball.

Mark, as well as being a sailor and cricketer, takes part in wheelchair slalom events as well as wheelchair push events to raise money for charity.

Coach/Manager of the Year

Winner: Dennis Greene

Nominated: Jason Thomas (St Neots Town FC Youth U12), Mark Jones (St Ives Rangers R), Peter Waughman (Houghton and Wyton Cricket Club)

The man in the hot seat at St Neots Football Club, Dennis Greene, has made a success of it. He led the team to the UCL championship and promotion to the Southern League Division 1 Central.

His management of the team saw the players - and the club - set a number of national records and earned Dennis the UCL’s manager of the year award.

In his nomination, Dennis was described as an ‘ace tactician’, but modestly played down the label.

“We have a great group of players, so it’s easy to manage them,” he said. “It’s all about the players. Whatever sport you are in it’s all about keeping working hard and we have players that do that.”

He added: “We’re now looking forward to the new season as we’re going to win the league again!”

Unsung Hero

Winner: Sheila Roberts

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Nominated: Peter Waughman (Houghton and Wyton Cricket Club), Martin Bennett (Gransden Football Club), Lisa Howard (Storm Netball Team)

We’ve been asked not to say how old Sheila Roberts is. But what we can say is that she has been a long servant of Huntingdonshire, providing swimming lessons and training as a coach of Huntingdon Piranhas Swimming Club since 1963 - before the days of having a swimming coach at the club.

Her work is completely voluntary as she gets involved for “the love of her sport, week in, week out.

She told the audience on Thursday: “Children need to learnt to swim and I enjoy teaching them.

“When they do swim, it’s a great achievement - not only for them but also for me.”

Sports Personality of the Year

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Winner: David Shepherd

Nominated: Shane Tolley (St Neots Town Football Club), Katie Batchelor (wakeboarding - a type of waterskiing) and Mike Kearns (chairman of St Neots Town FC)

David Shepherd will be an umpire at the Olympic Games. He is also playing for the county and coaching at a local and national level.

And the badminton player from xxx is still only 18-years-old

David still trains 26 hours a week, including with the county squad, and then on top of this he volunteers as a badminton coach.

While his playing career is going very much in the right direction, so is his career as an official. Although he only started officiating two years ago, he has impressed so much, that this year he has attended all major national and UK-based international badminton events as a line judge.